Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Recent review of African health research reveals gaps, opportunities

The McLaughlin-Rotman Center for Global Health has published a series of open-access papers that paints a detailed picture of the state of health innovation research in Africa (link to BiomedCentral International Health and Human Rights, December 2010). Dr. Peter Singer and Dr. Ken Simiyu share their research findings in this engaging studio discussion.

Key findings of the group include issues in the stagnation of viable technologies, such as diagnostic tests, medical devices, and plant medicine due to lack of commercialization.

Other barriers in bringing these important innovation to the people include lack of infrastructure and scientific equipment, lack of capital financing and enterpreneurship, and inappropriate regulation and policies.

Suggestions to improve these issues comprise the need for a viable innovation network between scientists and entrepreneurs, addition of some modest funds to continue and validate the research, and addressing the gap in research infrastructure and scientific equipment.

These models parallel the situation of health research in Southeast Asia, where similar opportunities and challenges exist for health innovation. These investable ideas, if properly channeled, stand to make a huge difference in the people of Africa and Southeast Asia in the future. It is envisioned for these countries to develop health research so that they can create local products, grow local industries for health products, and provide solutions to local health needs of today.

Reference: McLaughlin-Rotman Center for Global Health. (2010, December). African Innovation: New Hope for Local Health Issues. Accessed December 2010. Retrieved from http://www.mrcglobal.org/projects/african_innovation.

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